Thursday, July 14, 2022

Master of the Mundane: Eliot Hodgkin


 It's safe to say that Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987) was inspired by the the mundane things that most painters of still lives tend not to examine. In his own words, "I like to show the beauty of things that no one looks at twice."


Hodgkin's interest in the rather small insignificant subjects was perhaps his genetic inheritance. His long lineage includes many intellectuals including an uncle, Thomas Hodgkin. Thomas H was a noted pathologists,who through a microscope, was able to describe a certain form of cancer, which we know today as "Hodgkin's Lymphoma."



Eliot H. might have been fascinated by his uncle's microscopic images, but if so, it was more likely incorporated with his own leanings toward another kin, Roger Fry. Fry was a 19th century painter and an art critic. At age 13, Eliot Hodgkin was already considered a child prodigy for his paintings.


Eliot H. did paint some very good landscapes. interiors and more conventional still lives. However, a sampling of the ones that best reflect his interest in the mundane shown in the blog are (in no particular order): dead leaf (he painted lots of those), walnuts, turnips, unusual lemon still life, varied fruits, and currants. 


 He painted a wide variety of items that interested him - including his baby boy's booties - until age 74 when worsening eyesight forced him to stop. 

In the way of family lineage, there's a website where you can see more of his works, of course, presented by the Hodgkins.

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